Patients with flippers jam SC Aquarium turtle hospital

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — It’s a busy time at the sea turtle hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston. So far this year 27 turtles have been released on area beaches. But the tanks at the hospital seem to fill up with new patients almost as quickly as rehabilitated turtles are set free.

And this year, for the first time since the hospital opened in 2005, turtles brought in from South Carolina waters have had to be sent to neighboring states for treatment.

The aquarium is now embarking on a campaign to raise $5 million to create a larger sea turtle hospital to open by the spring of 2017.

Aquarium staffers say one reason for more in patients is there seem to be more sea turtles, thanks to conservation efforts of recent decades.

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